What is this Beetle?
July 19, 2009
Found this beetle trying to burrow into the concrete under my front door, so we picked him up and had a good looksie at him. Can’t for the life of me figure out what kind he is. Thought he was a rhinocerous beetle, but can’t find a picture that looks like him. Help!
Jonathan C
Fort Pierce, FL USA

Triceratops Beetle

Triceratops Beetle

Dear Jonathan,
Though we often have people write in comparing insects to dinosaurs, like calling the Wheel Bug a Stegosaurus, to the best of our knowledge, this may be the only insect that actually is named for a dinosaur. Your Triceratops Beetle, Phileurus truncatus, is also called a Loving Beetle according to BugGuide which has this information:  “Adults come to lights. Larvae feed in rotten logs, reported, in particular, from dead oaks. Presumably, males (?) use horns to defend breeding sites. Lifespan of adults is reported to be quite long (up to two years) in captivity. Reported to have structures for sound production (stridulation) (1). Stridulate softly when handled (P. Coin, Durham, NC 11 July 2007).”  BugGuide also has this crazy statement:  “Adults have been reported causing cabin fires by coming down chimneys, presumably attracted to fireplace smoke and spreading embers” which we find odd and potentially libelous.  We surely hope that statement does not contribute to the unnecessary carnage of this magnificent creature.

Triceratops Beetle

Triceratops Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large Aquatic Bug (?) Found in the Ozarks, Does NOT Appear to be a Toe Biter
July 18, 2009
The picture that I have included is horrible, but it was gone so quickly we couldn’t snap a good picture, however, the outline is there. It was a large aquatic insect about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Round body shape. Posterior is actually scalloped, blurred in picture. There small head with two short stubby protrusions. From what we could tell there were two very long arms that It could grab and swim with. (It held on to the tip of my fishing pole with these two arms. In the picture they are seen at it’s sides) It was a light brown color with some slight pattern on it’s back. It was found in about 3 foot of water in a slow moving section of a creek near Branson, Missouri. It was very round and from what I can tell from giant water bugs, they are much m ore oval or elliptical in shape. Hope this is helpful, I am very interested in knowing what this neat little guy is!
Thank you, Jamie
Ozarks Missouri, Bull Creek, arm of Table Rock Lake

Dragonhunter Naiad

Dragonhunter Naiad

Dear Jamie,
Though your photo is sorely lacking in the type of details that generally make an identification possible, the outline of the Naiad of the Dragonhunter, Hagenius brevistylus
, a type of Dragonfly, is quite distinctive.  We feel confident that you have seen a Dragonhunter Naiad and you can see a detailed photo on BugGuide.

Brown Beetle, 2″ in length, long antennae
July 18, 2009
Found two of them in the wood pile as we where splitting wood. they seem to have wings but did not fly. brown to light brown in color both top and bottom
Mike
Turner, Oregon

Ponderous Borer

Ponderous Borer

Hi Mike,
Of the Ponderous Borer, Ergates spiculatus, BugGuide notes:  “In a quick review of Google mentions this beetle has also been called a Pine Sawyer, Western Pine Sawyer, Spined Woodborer, and Ponderosa Pine Borer. The last name may be a conflation of Ponderous Borer and Pine Sawyer although it should be noted that ponderosa is Spanish for ponderous and would be a logical name for Spaniards in early California to give to both the huge pine trees of the high Sierras and the huge beetles that bored in them.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large moth
July 19, 2009
I live in the Verde Valley north of Phoenix Arizona. Last night this moth came flying in the patio, hit the ceiling fan, and hit the floor hard. I helped him up off the floor onto the side of the cushion. He stayed there most of the night and in the morning he had made his way up the wall. By late afternoon he suddenly just fluttered out an into the willow tree. He was about 7 to 8 inches across and about 4 and a half inches long. What is it? and are they common in this area
Thank You!
Montezuma Mom
Lake Montezuma, Arizona

Oculea Moth

Oculea Moth

Dear Montezuma Mom,
Exactly one year ago on 19 July 2008,  when we received our first photo of the Oculea Moth, Antheraea oculea, we thought we were looking at a Polyphemus Moth with exaggerated markings.  The eyespots looked heavily made up, as though they had added eye shadow.
The World’s Largest Saturniidae Site indicates:  “The Antheraea oculea moth (wing span 3 15/16 – 5 7/8 inches) closely resemble the widely distributed polyphemus, but oculea occur only in the Southwestern corner of New Mexico through the mountains of southern Arizona north to Flagstaff and the South Rim of the grand canyon. This subspecies/species has also been reported in Durango, Mexico. There is good reason to believe the moth also flies in western Texas (Ft. Davis) as Mike Quinn sent a left forewing found in that area.” Later on on the site:  “The adults are found in oak woodlands and mixed forests.  Oculea is best distinguished from polyphemus by the orange ring around each eyespot and extensive blue and black scaling on all wings. Polyphemus has a yellow ring around each eyespot and black scaling is much less pronounced. The submarginal black line of polyphemus is always trimmed by a distal pink line, while oculea have a significantly wider wider black submarginal line without the pink trim.” There is a nice Oculea Moth page documenting the life cycle on zianet.com where it is stated:  “Until the early nineties, oculea was considered a subspecies of polyphemus.” The Butterflies and Moths of North America has a map with the range. We are going to copy Bill Oehlke on this response so he can add your sighting to the comprehensive species distribution data he is compiling.
Another Oculea Moth Sighting
August 6, 2009
You made IDing my visitor very easy! Thanks. I just wish my oculea hadn’t been around so long & had been neater. You might find my post of interest:
http://walkingprescott.blogspot.com
GrannyJ

Dear GrannyJ,
We have added your comment and linked to your site with a much battered but still lovely Oculea Moth.

2 Large Unidentified Bugs, Possibly Beetles, With Large “Feathery” Antenna
July 18, 2009
Hi there! We found these two bugs yesterday floating in our cat’s water dish on the back porch. They appear of the same type, I assume they are male and female, who were attempting an ill-fated waterside rendezvous.
We are in the middle of South Carolina and it is currently the middle of the summer here… bug season for sure!
In the photo, the smaller and slightly lighter colored bug was impossible to keep flipped over. However, its back looked just like the other bug. Both have longish, almost “feathery” looking antenna, which we found unusual.
We’ve seen lots of beetles before, but none like these (if that is what they are). We would appreciate your help in identifying these two bugs! Thanks!
Rinella Family, SC
Southeastern US, Pelion, SC

Tile Horned Prionids

Tile Horned Prionids

Dear Rinella Family,
Each of your beetles is a male Tile Horned Prionus, Prionus imbricornis.
There is a natural size range that has nothing to do with the sex of the beetles.  The antennae distinguish the male from the female.  We suspect your cat dish was near a light source since these beetles are often attracted to lights.

Some kind of longhorn beetle?
July 18, 2009
This insect had apparently been attracted to the yard light at the corner of our house. It’s July, in a woodsy area of the Sierra Foothills near Placerville, California. (Lots of ponderosa pine and black oaks, as well as manzanita shrubs.) In my I.D. search I keep coming across the Banded Alder Borer but this is something else. Can you help?
Karen Rathbun
Placerville, California

Unknown Longicorn from California

Acanthocinus principes

Hi Karen,
You are correct that this is not a Banded Alder Borer, but we have had no luck in securing an identification for you.  We are nearly certain your beetle is in the subfamily Lamiinae which includes the genus Monochamus.  We would seriously consider the White Spotted Sawyer, but the male of the subspecies found in California and Oregon has solid black antenna.  We are going to contact Eric Eaton in the hopes that he can assist in an identification.

Unknown Longicorn from California

Acanthocinus principes

Comment from Eric Eaton
Daniel:
I recognize it, but never committed the name to memory because it is not seen that often.  I’ll get more of my colleagues to take a look. Nice images that I hope will also get posted to Bugguide:-)
Eric

Okay, I’ve submitted it to BugGuide, and also added one more photo. I’m excited that this one is not common, and now I wish I had not been rushed when taking the photos and had done a proper job of it — including a size reference and finding better lighting and that sort of thing. Or that I had saved the beetle for a proper photo session later. Thanks for your help!
Karen

Update:
July 19,2009
Daniel, thanks for your help! I thought you would like to know that Eric has identified this beetle as Acanthocinus principes  —  http://bugguide.net/node/view/306477/tree
What fun to be able to provide photos that seem somewhat hard to come by!  I just got lucky, as I know next to nothing about insects, though I do own a couple of field guides and like to learn the names of things that I find.  I sure appreciate your service, and also Eric’s.
Karen